Sainsbury’s is launching banana ‘rescue stations’ in stores to encourage consumers to use overripe fruit and cut down on waste.
The retailer said UK households bin 1.4 million bananas every day, with a third of consumers admitting they will throw away fruit with even a minor bruise or black mark, and one in ten throwing away a banana with green on the skin. The waste figures come despite news that the average Briton still eats three bananas a week and a fifth eat one every day.
Banana rescue stations will be in place at 500 stores across the country, and will provide shoppers with recipe inspiration for banana bread, as well as cooking equipment and storage solutions.
The retailer will also expand its in-store banana bread trial – which sees unsold fruit used by the in store bakery teams – to 110 stores nationwide. Originally trialled in seven stores last year, the range has also been extended to include a choc chip flavour.
Sainsbury’s head of sustainability Paul Crewe said: “61 per cent of Britons admit they never use otherwise discarded bananas in baking, so to inspire customers to use their fruit in different ways, we’ve created an area in store dedicated to get Britain baking with bananas. There’s no need to bin the bruised ones anymore.
“There, shoppers will find recipe inspiration - including our very own tried and tested recipe for home-made banana bread - as well as everything they need to help make their own loaves, including mixing bowls, blenders, baking tins and storage solutions.”
Sainsbury’s said it has analysed the behaviour of banana consumers, and split them into those who eat bananas as a healthy snack (25 per cet), for lunch (20 per cent), breakfast (16 per cent), pre- or post-exercise (eight per cent), in smoothies (eight per cent), or as desserts (seven per cent).
It has then provided advice for each consumer group on how to incorporate overripe bananas into that particular occasion. Tips included:
• Make banana bread with those starting to brown
• Make banana chips as a great lunch box alternative that keeps for longer
• Chopped on porridge, on toast, or try French toast with a banana filling
• Use a banana guard to stop it getting squashed in gym bags
• Freeze chopped bananas to save waste if you don’t make a smoothie for a day or two
• Roast bananas and top with fruit or chocolate for a sweet treat
Crewe added: “While we’re pleased with the success of the in-store trial, we’re determined to help shoppers reduce the number of bananas going to waste at home too."
The banana initiative is part of the supermarket’s £10m Waste less, Save More initiative.